With time running out, Ripon Area School District officials are urging residents to fill out and return the facilities survey they received in the mail.

Just how will citizen feedback be used?

That question was raised last week Thursday at another information/input session about the ongoing facilities study process, attended by seven residents.

“How binding is the survey?” Mike Levenhagen asked.

“The [School] Board has committed to having public input and being able to use the input from the community in order to help guide their direction,” Superintendent Mary Whitrock said. “... I don’t think their intention is to do something completely different from the survey [results].”

Board member Gary Rodman also addressed the issue.

“I wouldn’t call it ‘binding,’ but ... we wouldn’t have commissioned a survey if we weren’t interested in that feedback,” Rodman said.

Whitrock indicated the goal is to test what the community might support in a referendum.

“So if the survey is saying that the community is not likely to support an option, it would be counter-intuitive to put that on a referendum because, really, the survey, if it’s doing its job, is already telling you that that option doesn’t have a good success rate.”

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